10 Free Family Activities to Stay in Shape

For many families quality time together is limited between work, school, sports, extracurricular activities and friends. Carving out time for a workout can be difficult. Additionally, costly gym memberships are often an expense that doesn’t fit in the family budget. Finding a way to kill two birds with one stone is always welcomed. Here are 10 ideas on how you can skip the gym and spend time with the family without sacrificing your workout.

1. Have a dance party. Blast some music and let loose. Not only will you be laughing yourselves silly by the end but just 30 minutes of grooving will burn 159 calories.

2. Take the dog for a walk. Walking Fido around the neighborhood for 30 minutes will give you a chance to catch up with your kids or spouse about their day and burn 138 calories.

3. Wash the car. We all know that summer activities aren’t always the cleanest (that’s what makes them fun). So fill those buckets and turn on the hose to burn 142 calories washing the car and having a water fight on a hot day.

4. Hopscotch & Jump Rope. These two classic outdoor games are great for increasing coordination as well as burning off calories. You can even get creative with your hopscotch boards by creating your own symbols. Draw symbols in the squares that mean spin around, do a jumping jack or touch your toes. Hopscotch will burn 168 calories in 30 minutes while jumping rope will slough off 319 in the same amount of time.

5. Family Bike Ride. Whether riding around your neighborhood or heading to a local park to ride, biking is a fun way to shape up. In 30 minutes of a leisurely pace with the kids, you’ll burn 126 calories.

6. Neighborhood ball game. Round up the neighbor kids and get competitive. A friendly game of half-court basketball will shed 260 calories, touch football – 277 calories, baseball – 160 and soccer – 223 calories. All while proving to the young ones that you’ve still got it.

7. Enjoy nature. What better way to spend a Saturday afternoon than packing a backpack with water and snacks and heading up a local hiking trail. You can teach the kids about nature, spot some wildlife and deplete 189 calories every 30 minutes.

8. If you or your kids prefer a more leisurely backyard game of croquet, badminton or Frisbee, that’s great too. Smacking the ball through the arches will shed 80 calories, smashing the birdie over the net another 143 and flinging the disc 97 in just a half-hour.

9. Play a game of tag. Another classic game with no equipment necessary that will burn off 160 calories. Try freeze tag or hospital tag to change it up a bit.

10. Play at the park. Don’t just sit on a bench and watch the kids, get out there and have some fun. Climb the ladders, slide down the slides, cross the monkey bars and do a few chin-ups on the bars. You’d be amazed what a great full body aerobic workout you can get by just being a kid again.

All calorie counts are based on a 140 pound woman doing the activity for 30 minutes. They were calculated using Healthstatus.com and FitnessMagazine.com 


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